The rehab for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham's recovery from the ACL injury has been called ahead of schedule for months, but met with an understandable amount of caution. Beckham released videos of jogging, then another where he's sprinting on a treadmill, but he wasn't doing things like cutting or any other unexpected movements, so it was premature to call him healthy.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN is the latest to report on Beckham's recovery, although he does not provide specifics. Fowler noted on Saturday just how good the Browns feel about his recovery. Sunday, he cited a veteran player working out with him in Arizona at the EXOS facility, "“I’m told that from those who worked out with him at the EXOS facility in Arizona recently that he looked like his normal self."
There's no mention of Beckham cutting, so maybe that's inferred, but it's not clear. And until Beckham is cutting and ultimately catching passes from Baker Mayfield, it's likely going to remain premature.
That does not mean the news isn't good as it's not even June and Beckham is reasonably close to being back from the injury, which is a credit to his incredible dedication to rehabilitate the injury.
The Browns schedule for Beckham was to hopefully have him back for the season. Minicamp may prove to be too early, but training camp is looking increasingly reasonable, which is important on multiple fronts.
First, it means that Beckham will be able to be healthy to work with Mayfield and the offense. Just as important will be the fact that Beckham can focus on strengthening both his knee, but his leg overall. Being healthy isn't quite the same as being back to full strength and this can potentially dramatically change the schedule for when Beckham can be truly back to being himself.
The Browns were able to get to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs and between the improvements on defense and getting Beckham back, the team has to feel good about their chances to return to the playoffs and potentially go further.
The offense having a more explosive, vertical element makes it more dangerous and should enable them to have one of the best offenses in the NFL. Having Beckham back to practice fully ahead of the season should only make them feel more confident in being able to achieve it.